Facebook is facing The Privacy Heat Again, This Time for Its iPhone App

Facebook just does not stop upsetting people with privacy issues. An abrupt change in TOS is something people have just come to expect from Facebook by now. However, what has happened this time, goes a step further. Facebook is making phone numbers of personal contacts public on the Facebook iPhone app. This is caused by a technical glitch in the Facebook’s Contact Sync. Whether this is a problem or is a feature is in doubt. However, one thing is for sure. People would not want this to happen.


The mechanism of this problematic situation is even more amusing. According to Charles Arthur at  the Guardian,

Facebook’s Contact Sync feature links your friends’ Facebook profile pictures to the contact telephone number in your iPhone address book. The app then pushes these private phone numbers onto Facebook’s servers, and publishes them to Facebook’s Phonebook app. The Facebook app also appears to share numbers for contacts that you don’t have, but your Facebook friends do.

Apparently, the bug, which also poses as a feature for advertisers and others, was first sighted earlier this year and has been ignored by Facebook all this long. The Facebook Phonebook is one of my favorite features in the Facebook app. However, I use an Android and am free from this trouble. Nevertheless, I wonder what unexplored features the Android Facebook app has that can create an equal magnitude of dismay.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.